Introduction

PARYAVARANIYA VIKAS KENDRA

Draft Report

2003-2004

From the learning’s of the previous year’s activities we decided to take forward these activities by strengthening women’s collectives already formed in these villages. These were also directly involved in the decision making process of all the activities. Carrying on from last years activities main issues covered this year were:

  1. Natural Resources Management
  2. Livelihood Recovery
  3. Drought Proofing Planning of villages
  4. Watershed Development
  5. Networking
  6. Capacity Building

 

  1. Natural Resources Management:

From our experience of working in this area and continuing dialogue with the people of this area we carried out activities with active involvement of local people so as to make these activities sustainable, transparent and bring noticeable change in the life of the people of Malia block.

Malia being one of the most vulnerable block as far as concern to availability of natural resources. Here specifically salinity ingress and less rain has reduced fertility of land. Thus reducing the production of farmlands and vegetation cover from other land areas like pasture lands, govt. wasteland and forestland has disappeared quite extensively. Making area barren.  Also salinity ingress has make under ground water salty and also village ponds are getting salty due to increasing salinity.  Following activities were carried out in six villages.

 

Main issues covered were:

  • Drinking water
  • Salinity Control
  • Soil conservation

 

Introduction:

When PVK initiated NRM activities after the earth quake, it was an opportunity to enable women to explore new roles and responsibilities in this men dominated field and communities. In last 1 and half year this has been well demonstrated to the women and the community.

Today the women are at a stage where they have gained an acceptance and legitimacy within the community to participate in public spaces and in decision making for the community. This acceptance is still in initial stage and needs strengthening. In order to avoid a situation where the women fall back in to their traditional roles we have conceived of this project where we lead women to centrally participate in the development of communities. It is through the poor women’s participation in development activities that the benefits have reached to the poor households, which in turn has lead to empowerment of women.

While reconstruction of houses is mostly achieved in these villages, there are still many unfulfilled needs of the community that arise from the ecological, socio-economic and political conditions of the block. Lack of regular incomes, poor soil and water conditions are problems that the people have been faced with even before the earthquake has been aggravated due to the earth quake and other recurrent disasters like drought and cyclone. The poor are now more vulnerable due to recurrent disasters of cyclones, drought and earthquake. Based on our field experience and assessment in a nutshell some of the most acute needs of the area are related to ecological restoration, sustainable incomes, access to drinking water, access to clean surroundings and access to good governance. Based on thsi we decided to attend the issues of drinking water, increasing food  security, and salinity control.

 

Main Objective:

 To actively involve  villagers specifically women, in sustainable development of their village.

 Aims:

  • To solve drinking and household use water problem
  • Soil and water conservation.
  • Control Salinity ingress.
  • To provide employment the needy local people.
  • Develop leadership of women to carry out Natural Resources Management activities.

 

Our Beginning:

Selection of Villages:

At the time of implementing the proposed programme we selected six villages which were suffering from serious degradation of natural resources.

 

Following criteria were used for selection these villages:

  • Which village faces the most acute water problem?
  • Interior village.
  • Problem of salinity ingress is high.
  • Readiness of the villagers secifically women to actively participate in the program and contribute atleast 10% of the program cost.
  • The population of the poor is more.
  • Lack of livelihood opportunities.
  • Mahila Mandal of the village encouraged by “Anandi” is active.

After taking into consideration the above norms, the following villages selected were– VarshaMedi, Bhimsar (Vandh), Chikhali, Venasar, Rakhodiya(Vandh), Pat and vahi(Vandh).

 

Meeting with the Mahila Mandal:

Before starting the activities a meeting was held with the Mahila Mandal in each village. During the meeting the importance and purpose of the programme were discussed. Problem regarding drinking water and what should be done were discussed. Discussion regarding what kind of activities to be carried out, was also held with the Mahila Mandal. During the meeting, people’s contribution in each activity were also discussed. It was decided to take a minimum of 10% of  people’s contribution for each activity. Committee will be constituted for the supervision of these jobs. There would be five to seven women in the committee of 7 to 11 person. Training for the committee was also discussed, along with the time limit of the project. Mahila Mandal also discussed how these activities could be done.

 

Constitution of the Committees:

It was decided to have a meeting with the Mahila Mandal in each village and during the meeting to form a ‘Samiti’ which would supervise the work. In this ‘Samiti’ two women from the old ‘Samitis’ and new other women would be taken. Only those women would be considered who could go out, speak and take decisions. A ‘Samiti’ of such women were formed in each village. Only five to six women were kept in the ‘Samiti’ as per requirements.

 

Training of the ‘Samiti’:

Training for the ‘Samitis’ of all the villages was conducted at the village Bhimsar. The training was  for one day. Importance of the programme and the need of the ‘Samiti’ in the village were discussed. The role of the ‘Samiti’ in the village, how to keep accounts, and other importance points were explained in the meeting. The role of the supervision ‘Samiti’ was discussed. It was also explained how the stock ‘committee’ should keep the registers for the stock. Importance of water ‘samiti’ was also discussed. And in the end, it was explained how the accounts ‘samiti’ should keep accounts. The procedure for making cement mixutre – sand, cement, chips of stone, and their proportion – was explained by our engineer to the women.

 

Exposure Tour:

With a view to understand the long term work carried out by women for drought proofing  an exposure tour of the members of six Samitis of the village was organized at Sahjivan Sanstha, Bhuj. In this exposure tour 30 Samitis members joined. This tour was for the two days. On the first day village Khari was visited. Our samiti members meet the Mahila Mandal and the members of the Samiti of Khari village and understood the activities carried our for drought proofing. Samiti members also  discussed with the labours on site and the Samiti members. Afterwards a meeting was conducted with the Mahila Mandal of the village where, we gathered the information regarding what types of work have been done, how the village people were involved in that, what was the role of the women leaders. We talked about how to keep accounts, how the beneficiaries are selected, what are the responsibilities of the members of the Samiti. Being benefited by this exposure tour, visiting members of the exposure tour, made many changes in the work done in their villages, and they also learnt about how to carry out drought proofing activity.

 

Selection of activities:

First of all activities were selected by the organization in each village with the help of mahila mandal. The pond was divided into two parts in Varsha Medi, in Chikhali, instead of farm bund, check dam was selected. (As per table).

 

Site Selection:

First, which activities to be carried out were decided in the meeting with Mahila Mandal. Afterwards, the women of the Samiti and the Mahila Mandal selected the site with the help of engineer of our organisation., In the initial stage villagers were scpetical about capacity of women to select proper site. As they just believe that “ This is not a women’s field.” In Varsha Medi, during the site selection, it was only Mahila Mandal which has decided to divide the pond into two parts. One part was meant for drinking purpose and the other for drinking water for the animals and washing clothes.  Most of the villagers were not sure about the out come. But, the fruits were enjoyed by the village people after the pond was filled with rain water, and as a result of which, the Mahila Mandal earned respect in the village and now the village people are supporting the Mahila Mandal in all other activities. The site of Bhimsar well was selected by the Mahila Mandal. On getting water the people are happy. At the time of site selection in Rakhodiya, the village people were hesitating, but the women of the Mahila Mandal insisted that the cause way and the check dam will be built  at the sites selected only by them. Now the result is that the people are getting water in the vicinity of  their village only. In  Chikhali selection of check dam in place of farm was done by the mahila mandal. This also yielded  positive result.

 

Start of our activities:

After the site selection, the Samiti made an announcement for those who will work as labour. It was decided during meetings of mahila mandals that all the labour must be provided to the villagers only. So that they get livelihood opportunity. Also Mahila Mandal decided the rates for masonry work, earth work and labour work. The members of the Samiti were present when the work was carried out. At the end of the week, measurements were done by the Samiti members. In the same way, payment was also made, keeping the members alongside. As per the responsibility, the women were visiting the sites, wherever the construction was going on. They were supervising the work like – whether the labours are preparing the goods (Mal) or not, mixture is proper or not, sprinkling of water is proper or not, is there any mis-use of the goods (Mal). They stopped work whenever they noticed any change in quality of work. The miscreants were quarreling when the work was going on and the work had to be stopped. Mahila Mandal and the women of the Samiti persuaded them to re-start the work. Construction was started first in the villages where the work under scarcity was going on. The earth work was started where scarcity relief work was not carried out. In all these activities the women of the Samiti were only taking the decisions. As all the work had to be finished before the on-set of the monsoon, the people were working very hard.

 

Selection of users group for the Farm bunds And Implementation:

Before starting the Farm bund, an exposure trip was organised for five women of the Mahila Mandal to SAVE organisation at Limadi. And these women shared about their visit in a meeting of mahila mandal in village.  Afterwards a Samiti was constituted in the meeting. After formation of the Samiti, Mahila Mandal decided the criteria for constructing the farm bund. (1) Less than one hectare of land, (2) Soil erosion is more, (3) Should have survey number i.e, land should not be encroached upon. (4) Poor farmer to be given priority. (5) Users participation will be 20% of the total cost; all these were decided by the Mahila Mandal in a special meeting arranged for this activity. It was also decided that farmers who are not part of mahila mandal will be also selected as user if his/her farm is facing the problem of soil erosion. The Mahila Mandal also checked the list of users carefully and who ever had a benefited by this activity in past was refused this time. After the final selection of all the users were called and a meeting was arranged with them. They were informed about the height and width of the farm bund, how to discharge extra water, how to strengthen it etc. It was also discussed that there will be 20% contribution of the people. Two women supervisors were selected from the Mahila Mandal. Each user was informed that these two women will supervise the activity and only after the completion report from these women payment will be made. Payment for the farm bund was made by the women.

 

Do the villagers really have decision making power:

In village chikhli originally it was planned to built farm bunds. But, as this activity started late (in April) and as this was a drought year government had already satrted labour work to the villagers. As farm bunding is a labor intensive activity and as labor was going to relief work of government. It was decided by mahila  mandal that we better build a waste weir to the pond being prepared under govt. drought relief work. This will solve problem of drinking water for the village. And to satisfaction to all this change has proved very useful and successful as the pond was over flowed by the good rain. This has increased the confidence of mahila mandal members about taking proper decision on proper time.

Also in case of Varshamedi we we had planned to rejuvenate the village pond by taking out silt. This was planned to be done by the labor from the village itself. So that it will generate livelihood opportunity for the villagers. But, as in the case of chikhli here also the villagers were working on drought relief work by the government. In this circumstances mahila mandal, sarpanch and other village leaders decided to use machine in place of labor as digging of pond was to be completed before the monsoon. Still, those who were not able to get livelihood from government relief program were given labor work in our activity.

 

Out put:

Varshamedi:

Before starting the programme at village Varshamedi, a meeting was arranged with the leaders of the village and the Mahila Mandal and during the meeting; first of all, it was decided to start the activity for solving the problem of drinking water of the village. The Mahila Mandal also decided that the pond of the village be divided into two parts so that one part can be used for drinking purpose for villagers and the other for domestic use and drinking water for cattle.

During this time, the work of deepening the pond was going on under the scarcity relief by the Government, as last year was a drought year. After discussion with the Sarpanch it was decided that the work on some part of the pond would be done with the Government money and the remaining from the support from PVK. As the work on the work on the pond was too expensive to be done only by the Government or the organization. The Mahila Mandal and sarpanch agreed to do so.  It was also necessary to make waste weir along with the deepening of the pond. Thus, the work on the pond was carried out in three phases.

  1. Take out the earth from the pond, Deepen it
  2. Make waste weir for the pond and
  3. Divide the pond into two parts and make partition in the pond.

Leaders of the Mahila Mandal Labhuben, Muktaben, Kunvarben and also other members along with the Sarpanch of the village Shri Jivanbhai were present constantly during the whole procedure and saw that the work was carried out systematically. The work on the pond having been completed, as per the instruction of the Mahila Mandal, two platforms (Ghats) were also built to fill water. It rained good and as expected both the parts of the pond were full and overflowed. According to the people of the village, water collected in the pond will last for about two years. Also all the people of the village believe that there will not be any problem on drinking waterfront for the next 25 years.

Thus it can be said that the work selected by the Mahila Mandal has been successful and once again it can be said that in the field of natural resources which is  by the Mahila Mandal and Gram Samiti. Due to good monsoon, and as expected, the pond was filled with water, and because of check dam, the sea water could be stopped entering into the village. 60 to 70 farmers and 250 acres of land got the direct benefits of this step.

Many old people of the village says” We have not seen this much of water in this pond since last 25 years. Repairing of this pond has solved drinking water problem of not only this generation but also of the next generation.

 

Bhimsar Vandh:

Before starting the programme in Bhimsar Vandh, a meeting of the Mahila Mandal and village people, was called. While selecting the site, the villagers said that there was a step well (VAV) about 250 to 300 years old which was burried with the passage of time. The village people and the members of the Mahila Mandal suggested solving the  problem of water by making a well in the pond. The Mahila Mandal took the responsibility of looking after the construction of this well.

Though it was the time of famine, water level of five feet could be found and at present the water level in the well is 18 feet.

According to Emnaben Jam, with the construction of a well, there will not be a problem of water for the next two generations. She says, we all mahila Mandal members  are very happy as we won’t have to go in search of water any where. We will use this time saved for our children and working on farm.

 

Chikhali:

In Chikhali village the organization had already taken on hand the work of water harvesting. Also the leaders of the Mahila Mandal and the village people were capable to carry out this activity. Saiduben, the leader of the Mahila Mandal of this village, even believes that “If the sea can be kept at bay, why can’t we construct the pond!”

It was decided in the meeting with the Mahila Mandal and the village people that the main problem of Chikhali village is salinity and drinking water. To solve this problem of salinity, it was suggested that the waste weir be made of the pond constructed under the scarcity relief work by the Government. The responsibility of this work was shouldered by the Mahila Mandal and Gram Samiti. Due to good monsoon, and as expected, the pond was filled with water, and because of check dam, the sea water could be stopped entering into the village. 60 to 70 farmers and 250 acres of land got the direct benefits of this activity.

 

Venasar:

It was decided to construct farm bund, as the farm soil was washed out in the fields due to rains in Venasar. Earlier also the organization had co-operated in constructing farm bund and at that time also the Mahila Mandal shouldered the whole responsibility for this type of activity; in the same way the activity was also proceeded further. This time 83 Bandh Palas were constructed. Thus in this village almost all the fields have the farm bunds. We can say that the problem of washing of soil in the fields has been solved. During the last two years, 180 farm bunds have been constructed by the Paryavarniya Vikas Kendra and 33 farm bunds by “Anandi”  – a total of 213 farm bunds. An average rise of 10% production has been noticed during the last two years.

 

Vahi, Pat and Datar na Zad Vandh of Malia village:

These vandh areas are situated in some of the most interior of the malia village.  Here mahila mandal sugested that if we can provide them the pipeline they will take up rest of the resposibility of laying the pipeline, gettin permission from the concerned govt. dept.  After looing at the problem they are facing we decide tho support this activity. A total of 53 families are benefeting from this activity.

List of Committee members

No. Name of the samiti member Name of the village Education Current Occupation Responsibility
1 Hasinaben Sulemanbhai Bhimsar Vandh Housewife Supervision
2 Jiluben Ahmedbhai Labour Supervision
3 Jivaben Mohmmadbhai Labour Accounts
4 Roshanben Rahimbhai Labour Water
5 Aemnaben Fatemamad Hosuewife and agriculture Stock maintenance
6 Khatija Akbarbhai Rakhoya Labour Supervision
7 Amina Ahmadbhai Labour Supervision
8 Khalida Usmanbhai 5 th std. Farming Accounts
9 Havaben Major Vegetable Vending Water
10 Sakina Dawood Labour Water
11 Havaben Khengar Farming Stock
12 Roshan Mohmmad Labour Stock
13 Muktaben Ramjibhai Chikhli Labour Accounts
14 Kasturben Shambhubhai Vegetable vending Stock
15 Dudhiben Bachubhai Farming Supervision
16 Rahima Samat Labour Water
17 Jayaben Lavajibhai Farming Supervision
18 Muktaben Ranabhai Provision store Supervision
19 Labhuben Jivanbhai Varshamedi Housewife Supervision
20 Jayaben Bachu Labour Stock
21 Vasuben makanbhai Labour water
22 Sajjanben Bhimjibhai Labour Accounts
23 Ansuyaben Prabhatbhai Venasar 7th Std. Housewife Supervision
24 Chmpaben Dharamsibhai Labour Supervision

Impact:

Impact of these activities can be described as direct and indirect. As our main objective of this project was to involve women in the central role for sustainable development of their village.  We need to see the impact of this project from this perspective.  Direct impact of this project is that there is a considerable change in the belief of the villagers about the role women can play in NRM activities.  Before ANANDI and PVK started working in this region never ever women were consulted while taking decision on NRM activities. NRM was considered a men’s specialty field.  This belief is challenged and proved wrong by this and other projects carried out by PVK.  This is one of the most important impacts this project has done on the people of the area. Thus project has directly benefited to women by improving their status in the society and also it established women as good planner and efficient manager in the so-called “ Men’s specialty Zone”.

 

2.Livelihood Recovery;

Sustainable livelihood is a serious problem in this region. Specifically for small and marginal farmers, farm labors, saltpan labors and fishing community, and those dependent on animal husbandry face problems of sustainable livelihoods during droughts, cyclones, which are quite, frequent in this region.  We started our activities by supporting those families working as saltpan labors in Malia block.

 

Micro-Credit Program;

objectives:

  • To enhance women’s self confidence and cerate a distinct identity of women’s groups in the village as capable resource manager.
  • To enhance livelihood opportunity for women.

 

We formed women’s groups and men’s groups in 14 villages of Malia block. These groups have total membership of 597 out of this 473 are women and 124 are men. These groups are provided necessary training for saving and credit activity, book keeping and Entrepreneurship Development, leadership development etc.  All these groups are minimum 12 months old. Out of these 597 members 510 members have received a loan of average Rs.7,000/member.

It was found during the discussion with group members that they require minimum of this amount to start a small business on their own. We formed a committee within the groups which take responsibility for deciding the users of this loan amount and also responsibility for recovery of this loan. Up to March 2004 we have dispersed a loan amount of Rs. 36,73,500 and a total recovery of Rs. 11,14,215 has been achieved. This recovered amount is again dispersed as second loan to the members who have already paid their 1st loan.

Under this program we have mainly supported following business:

  • Fishing
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Grocery shop
  • Salt production
  • Flour mill

 

Vocational Training:

As part of this program we have also carried out vocational training program for youth of the villages where micro-credit program is going on. Under this program we have supported those youth from villages who have some skill and are ready to upgrade his skill, by providing proper training in their respected field of interest.  This training was in two phase:

  1. Entrepreneurship Development
  2. Skill up gradation

This year we have supported 30 youth from 5 villages.  Main occupations covered under this program are:

  • Automobile Mechanic
  • Color TV repairing
  • Auto Rickshaw driving
  • Carpentry
  • Fabrication
  • Centering

After completing this training all of them are linked for loans for starting their respective business in improved way. All of them are provided a loan of Rs. 15,000/trainee on average as per their need.

In the coming years we plan to cover more youth from poor and marginal communities under this activity. This will create sustainable livelihood opportunities for this deprived class.

 

Drought Proofing Plan:

We all know very well that the problem of drought is becoming severe day by day. Organizations, Government and the people are working hard to find the long-term solution of this problem. However, it seems that success is yet to be achieved. At this time, 10 organizations of Saurashtra and Gujarat have united and formed a network named VIRDA, to find out the long term solution of this problem.

The main purpose of VIRDA is to make the concerned village people active partner and plan out the permanent solution of this problem. Under this programme, each organization has decided to adopt two villages in the first phase. The selected villages were such where drought is the main problem and the village people, specially women are ready to take active part in this programme. Active participation of the women, was given much importance because we believe that the drought affects women most and without their involvement the planning will not be complete.

Keeping this in mind, Paryavarniya Vikas Kendra has selected two most drought affected villages of Saurashtra – Chikhali Vardsar and Venasar of Maliya Miyana Taluka, Rajkot District. They are situated on the bank of the Little Ran of Kutch. The organization has been carrying out development work in these villages for the last two years with active involvement of villagers. In both the villages, Mahila Mandals  formed by ‘Anandi’ – are actively participating in the development work. In both the villages, Mahila Mandals have taken initiative in the planning. As a part of our policy to promote initiative in VIRDA programme, 70% women were selected in VIRDA planning committee and one of them was selected President of the committee.

Drought Proofing planning was started in the village from April 2003 and competed in December 2003. All the village people, including the Sarpanch, the members of the Panchayat, leaders of the Mahila Mandal, planned the VIRDA programme. For the programming, the organization provided timely guidance and training workshops and exposure trips were also organized during this period. In this programme, it was maid sure that the people from all caste-class and religion of the village took part in the planning activity. There is no exaggeration in saying that the entire planning was done by the villagers only.

As a result of these combined efforts, a document has been prepared in the form of a proposal. During this entire process we were actively supported by Jan Viaks, Ahmedabad and SAVE-Ahmedabad. It is hoped that with the we will get support for the planned activities in near future and we will be able to support villagers of these 2 villages  to start their final fight against the drought and the effect of the drought would be minimised.

The methods used for preparation of this Drought proofing plan were  participatory in nature.

 

Watershed:

Watershed activity is considered as a tool for overall development of the villages by developing the natural resource base. Under this program main focus is on water and land conservation, improving farming and animal husbandry practices, increasing vegetation cover, pasture land management with active participation of villagers. Self Help Groups of women, farmers, cattle breeder are formed under this program.

Villagers participate in this program from the very satrt of the program. A Watershed Development Committee (WDC) is formed under this program. Memers of this committee are from the villages itself. This WDC is responsible for preparing the village action plan, holding gram sabhas, and implementation of village action plans.

We have covered 3 villages Sultanpur, Vadharava and Fatepar, under this program.

 

Networking:

We are active member of state level network “PRAVAH”. This network is working on issues related to drinking water. This year we participated in a “Abhiyan” for createing awareness among rural people regarding safe drinking water, reviving of traditional drinking water resources, importance of good sanitation practices. Under this we covered 35 villages of Malia and Morbi block in Rajkot district.

As a follow up of this prorgam we have prepared plan to work on lookign for long-term solution of drinking water and sanitaiton problems of these villages.

We are also member of “Janpath”, Ahmedabad based network working on the issues of human rights, rights of poor and dalits, Labors etc. With Janpath we are working on the issues of “Right to Information” and issues concerning Saltpan labors.

 

Capacity Building:

As activties progressed we felt the need for to build the capacity of the organisation, capacity of the community and the women to take on the new roles and responsibilities.  PVK have come a long way in their understanding of the potential women have.  Some of the issues covered includes processes necessary for implementing a gender mainstreaming programme, facilitation skills, problem solving skills, understanding group dynamics and leadership development while implementing a programme through the women’s groups.

PVK achieved these by providing training, on field demonstration and organize discussion meetings with staff and villagers and village leaders, mahila mandal leaders, organsising exposure tours.

This year some mahila mandal members visited GVT (Gramya Vikas Trust) at Dwarka, and Drought Proofing project of SAHJEEVAN- in Kutch, the women have learnt a lot and significant changes have been marked.  The women began the credit activities after they visited and the credit phase got a boost.  Similarly the women also came back motivated with an understanding of what their mandals could do over the next three years.  They began articulating that they want to undertake livelihood activities.

 

Future Planning:

Based on our experience form last year we plan to concentrate on the issues of Natural Resources Management (NRM), Control of salinity ingress, Drougth Proofing, Ensuring quality and quantity of Drinking water, Creating livelihood opportunities, Education for non school going nd school going children.

We also strongly belive that this cannot be achieved without active participation of villagers, specifically women who are directly and most adversely affected by degradation of natural resources like water and land, graas land, reduction in farm production etc.

This year we also plan to prepare a long-term development plan for Malia(block). We also plan to expand our activities to adjecent Morbi block in Rajkot distirct and Jodiya block in Jamnagar district.

PARYAVARANIYA VIKAS KENDRA
Physical details of the Soil and Water conservation activities During 2003-2004

No. Name of the

Village

Details of

Activity

No. of unit Direct benefits of Activity
1. Varshamedi Deepening of the pond. 1 *           Drinking water problem solved. Direct benefits to 115 families, especially ladies who had to spend time for bringing water. They can now utilize this time in a better way for other purpose.

*           Drinking water problem for cattle solved. Direct benefits to about 12 shepherds to increase their milk production.

Check dams 3             Control of salinity and drinking water conservation
2. Chikhali Making waste weir of pond 1 *           Drinking water problem of 122 families solved.
Constructing check dam. 1 *     Direct benefits to about 250 Acres of land of farmers due to  control of salinity.
3. Venasar Constructing

Farm bund

83 *           Average 10% increase in production to 83 farmers due to control of soil erosion.
4. Bhimsar Vandh Constructing well. 1 *           Direct benefits to 25 families because of a well and sweet water.
5. Rakhodiya Constructing check dam. 3 *           Problem of drinking water and domestic water solved for 45 families of the village.

*           Control of salinity and hence about 150 acres of land benefited directly.

6. Vahi area, Pat area, Datar na Zad area. Providing pipeline. 11,000 Feet. *           Facility of drinking water to about 53 families of Maliya Vandh area.
7 Vadhrava Check dams 4 *           Irrigation facility for 100 Acre farm land and direct benefit to 120 farmers
Plantation 1 Hectare *        Plantation of 500 species for formation of Gram Van
Repairing of pond waste weir 1 *           Repairing of waste weir was carried out for drinking water facility to 150 families of the village
8 Sultanpur Check dams 5 *           Irrigation facility to 79 farmers, and 125 acre of land benefiting. Salinity control.
9 Fatepar Check dams 20 *           Control of soil erosion and 110 acre of land benefiting. Salinity control.
10 Drinking water Well 1 *           Direct drinking water facility to 120 families

Details of the Vocational Training Program participants:

No. Name Village Occupation
1 Haji Hussein Katia Malia Color TV repairing
2 Abbas Dostmamad Movar Malia TV repairng
3 Mansang Popat Thakor Bhavpar Auto mobile Repairing
4 Mansukh Damaji Mistry Devgarh Fabrication
5 Dilip Amarsinh Surelia Devgarh Fabrication
6 Abraham Ismail Jam Malia Fabrication
7 Jusab Valimamad Jeda Malia Fabrication
8 Sabbir Habib Samtani Malia Fabrication
9 Vinod Prabhu Mistry Devgarh Fabrication
10 Raidhan Desha Virda Fatepar Fabrication
11 Bharat Visha Bharvad Fatepar Fabrication
12 Avchar Chatur Makvana Jajasar Carpentry
13 Kishor Amarsi Sureliya Devgarh Carpentry
14 Salim Osman Jam Malia Centering
15 Abbas Abdul Ladhani Khirai Centering
16 Savaddin Habib Samtani Khirai Auto Rickshaw Driving
17 Alaudin Janmamad Malia Auto Rickshaw Driving
18 Hasam Harun Movar Malia Auto Rickshaw Driving
19 Haider Kadar Bhatti Malia Auto Rickshaw Driving
20 Gulmamad Abdul Malia Auto Rickshaw Driving
21 Iliyas Abraham Katia Malia Auto Rickshaw Driving
22 Adam Ishaq Malia Auto Rickshaw Driving
23 Saudin Haji Malia Auto Rickshaw Driving
24 Iliyas Adam Paredi Malia Auto Rickshaw Driving
25 Juma Habib Bhatti Malia Auto Rickshaw Driving
26 Hanif Movar Malia Auto Rickshaw Driving
27 Sikandar Rasul Ladhani Malia Centering
28 Hanif Dawood Ladhani Khirai Centering
29 Dostmamad Ali Ladhani Khirai Masonry
30 Subhan Abdul Khirai Masonry

Details of Savings groups in Malia: March 2004

No. Village Name of the Group No. of members Female/Male Total Savings Total loan amount
1 Haripar Sangam 14 F 4860 48,000
2 Shri Chamunda 19 F 5240 99,000
3 Shri Shakti 17 F 5100 1,11,000
4 Vahi Vistar Sahiyar 24 F 6520 1,44,000
5 Nava Hanjiyasar Madina 34 F 4970 2,38,000
6 Shahenshavali 38 F 4860 2,66,000
7 Hajipir 49 F 5790 3,15,000
8 Vasila 52 F 5810 3,46,000
9 Pat Vistar Chirag 20 F 5480 1,19,000
10 Datar Na Zad Anand 24 F 10860 1,62,000
11 Kajarda Kranti 20 M 5160 1,20,000
12 Jajasar Momai Mora 30 F 4320 1,38,000
13 Devgardh Shri Ashapura 26 F 3520 1,35,000
14 Bhavpar Pragati 30 F 4310 2,34,000
15 Movar No Timbo Chetna 16 F 2540 97,000
16 Boli Vistar Indira Gandhi 15 F 3680 35,000
17 Maliya(Mi) Milan 12 M 1350 30,500
18 Khirai Bharat 26 M 1900 1,22,000
19 Juna Hanjiyasar Sahyog 15 M 2475 1,05,000
20 Fatepar Sarswati 23 F 5560 1,40,000
21 Bharatnaagr Akta 12 F 2800 84,000
22 Bhimsar Azad 13 M 1275 91,000
23 Chikhli Awkar 28 M 1500 1,96,000
24 Malia Malia Vikas 40 M 1800 2,80,000
597 1,01,680 36,73,500

Distribution of Good quality seeds for Farming 2003-2004

No. Name of the village

Variety of seed

Total no. of farmers Total Quantity (kg.)
1 Khakharechi Cotton-13 235 740
Cotton-21 500
Bajra (Proagro-7701) 25.5
Bajra (Star Seeds) 33
Bajra-MH 75
Sesame (Guj-1) 79
Sesame (Guj-2) 106
Mung (K-851) 54
Udad (T-9) 44
2 Kumbharia Cotton-13 18 240
Cotton-21 20
Sesame (Guj-1) 20
Sesame (Guj-2) 2
3 Chikhli Cotton-13 14 220
Bajra (Proagro-7701) 9
Bajra-MH 40.5
Sesame (Guj-2) 7
4 Venasar Cotton-13 35 440
Bajra-MH 18
Sesame (Guj-1) 5
Sesame (Guj-2) 5
Mung (K-851) 2
Udad (T-9) 2
5 Khirasara Bajra (Proagro-7701) 50 15
Bajra (Star Seeds) 17.5
Sesame (Guj-2) 25
Mung (K-851) 10
Udad (T-9) 1
6 Other villages Cotton-13 20 200
Khirai, Kajarda, Manaba, Vidaraka, Sultanpur, Vejalpar Sesame (Guj-1) 6
Bajra (Star Seeds) 6
Sesame (Guj-2) 2
Mung (K-851) 2
Total 11 villages   372 2971.5

Trainings:
Women’s groups’ trainings:

No. Issues covered Villages covered No. of participants Total no. of trainings
1 Formation of SHGs 12 400 12
2 Leadership training 12 60 3
3 Natural Resources Management 6 80 3
4 Drought proofing 2 180 6
5 Entrepreneurship Development Training 3 170 3
6 Exposure tour: NRM, People’s participation, Drought proofing 10 80 2

 

Staff training:

No. Issues covered No. of staff members Total no. of trainings
1
2 Gender training 3 1
3 Natural Resources Management 2 2
4 Drought proofing 2 4
5 Entrepreneurship Development Training 2 4
6 Exposure tour: NRM, People’s participation, Drought proofing 6 2

Virda Planning
Name of the Village: Chikhli-Vardusar

No.

Details of the activity

No. of Unit

Unit cost

Total cost People’s Contribution
A Drinking water
1 Roof Rain water Harvesting Structures (10,000 lts. capacity) 25 16,000 4,00,000 80,000
B Animal Husbandry
1 Buffalo 47 15,000 7,05,000 2,35,000
2 Bullock 31 5,000 1,55,000 31,000
C Agriculture
1 Horticulture 25 10,000 2,50,000 62,500
2 Vegetable 67 Bighas 1,000 67,000 16,750
3 Fodder farms 4350 Bighas 200 8,70,000 4,35,000
4 Farm bunds 524 Bighas 1000 5,24,000 1,31,000
5 Levelling 164 Bighas 1000 1,64,000 41,000
6 Farm ponds 1260 Bighas 1000 12,60,000 3,15,000
D Water harvesting & Recharge
1 Pithia Moro Tidal Regulator 1 41,10,115 41,10,115 4,10,00
2 Kumbhariya Marg Cause way cum check dam 1 3,30,830 3,30,830 33,000
3 Hokli causeway cum check dam 1 3,88,412 3,88,412 38,000
4 Malia Marg causeway cum check dam 1 3,92,115 3,92,115 39,000
5 Sultanpur Marg Causeway 1 2,56,314 2,56,314 25,000
Total     98,92,786 18,92,250

Name of the Village: Venasar

 

No.

Details of the activity

No. of Unit Unit cost Total cost People’s Contribution
A Drinking water
1 Roof Rain water Harvesting Structures (10,000 lts. capacity) 47 16,000 7,52,000 1,50,400
B Animal Husbandry
1 Buffalo 82 15,000 12,30,000 4,10,000
2 Bullock 49 5,000 2,45,000 49,000
C Agriculture
1 Horticulture 2 15000 3,000 7500
2 Vegetable 100 bighas 1,000 100,000 25,000
3 Fodder farms 5028 Bighas 200 10,05,600 5,02,800
4 Farm bunds 1731 Bighas 1000 17,31,000 4,32,000
5 Levelling 430 Bighas 1000 4,30,000 1,07,500
6 Farm ponds 785 bighas 1000 7,85,000 3,92,500
D Water harvesting & Recharge
1 Kalasar Tidal Regulator 1 34,82,079 34,82,079 3,50,000
2 Bhimsar Pond waste weir 1 3,81,468 3,81,468 40,000
3 Sudamadi pond waste weir 1 1,46,568 1,46,568 15,000
4 Navi Naliawadi pond repairing 1 1,44,343 1,44,343 15,000
5 Zarakhwalo vonklo check dam 1 2,67,426 2,67,426 26,750
Total     1,07,30,484 25,24,200

Note: People’s contribution will be in kind or in cash.

About the Area:

Malia is located in the Little Ran of Kutch, which is one of the ecologically most sensitive zones in the state of Gujarat. In not too great antiquity, the present saline desert of the Rann was a shallow inland sea. The origin of the Little Ran is owed to the transgression through the Gulf of Kutch. It is inferred that the Little Rann represents the former extension of the gulf when the sea level was high during the last Holocene transgression. The trending faults mark the triangular shaped Little Rann and appear it to be responsible for its present configuration.

The area is mainly characterized by dry tropical monsoon climate. It receives an average annual rainfall of less than 300 mm. Though the season of monsoon sets in July and continues till September, rains occur mainly during July and August. Brief erratic monsoon, hot summer and cold winter characterize the climate of the area. The average  maximum temperature is about 42 Degree C and minimum temperature is about 12 Degree C and the relativew humidity is about 25%. How ever, maximum temperature as high as 50 degree C and minimum temperature as low as 1 degree C have also been recorded. The area has the highest annual evaporation rate in the country. The Rann may experience unseasonal rains or violent south-west winds at any period.

During the late monsoon and early winters, this area is covered with the sheet of shallow water having optimum salinity and serves as a vast breeding ground for “Hutch Prawn” (Metapenaeus kutchensis) several fish and invertebrates.

Further as this area receives both freshwater and tidal waters during the year, organisms adapted to both inland and coastal waters occur here. Since its formation this area is receiving less and less quantities offreshwater due to some reasons like damming of rivers like Banas, Sarsvati, Macchhu and Rupen in the upper catchment area.  Due to this the ground water in this area is becoming highly saline and totally unsuitable for any useful purpose. Most part of Little Rann is considered as a “Saline Wasteland”.  And this area of saline wasteland is increasing due to erratic rainfall, regular droughts and mismanagement of natural resources.

Primary occupations of the people in this area is rained farming, livestock rearing, salt production and fishing. Main communities residing in this area are Koli, Ahir, Bharwad and Miana. But poor and unreliable rainfall, degraded natural resource bases particularly the lack of vegetation, makes rain fed farming and livestock rearing unremunerative. Bajra and wheat are the food crops and cotton and Sesame are the cash crop. Besides castor and Jeera cultivation is also carried out.

The people engaged on animal husbandry depend upon cows, buffaloes, sheep, goats, donkeys and camels.

Fishing is another important livelihood activity. The Rann and its adjoining areas, including gulf of kutch are characterized by the marine and backwater fisheries. The Gulf of kutch near Malia is thriving with marine and backwater fisheries, where during the rainy season, the sea water and the waters of the Banas river intermix due to floods. Prawn fishery is predominant in this area. Heavy landing of prawns is observed in this area from July to September.  Fishing is mainly done by Miana community in Malia block.

Salt production is carried out extensively in Malia. Malia is one of the largest salt producer in India.  Large number of local people work as the salt laborers, in the salt pans and they are knowns as “Agarias”.

This area is internationally famous for endangered Asiatic Wild Ass.

In this region, fresh water is the principal limiting factor for all human activities and natural processes. To secure livelihoods, since almost all the rain falls during the monsoon season, it is imperative that the maximum amount of rainwater be harvested and stored for domestic use, agriculture and livestock needs. Storage in open and above ground structures leads to high evaporation losses. Hence most of the rainwater should be stored under the ground through recharging units. In general, underground storage also requires greater effort to pull the water our for use and therefore leads to more conservationist use of water.

Contrary to popular images, the coastal desert is not simply an extensive sandy area. Salt marshes, sandy undulating plains, sand dunes and gravely areas characterise the coastal desert. The region is underlain by a variety of rocks.

Malia is highly prone to droughts. Hence a desired goal of any development strategy for the region should be to enhance the local people’s preparedness to face droughts with minimum hardships. This requires a drought- proofing approach to ensure the availability of a desired minimum level of water, food grains, fodder, fuel and livelihoods for the local population, even in a drought year. Because of the extremely low-level of rainfall in the region 300 to   550 mm, and its high variability, droughts tend to recur in successive years.  Complete drought proofing in such a region through local measures alone, i.e., without the import of water for irrigation from outside sources, is highly expensive. Instead, the project attempts to mitigate the impacts of droughts by optimizing the impact of low-cost through integrated land and water management activities in project villages.

There is no perennial river in Rajkot district and Malia.  Around 90 seasonal rivers criss-cross the district retaining water for only a few days after rainfall during the monsoon. Machhu is the main river in Malia.

 

CASE STUDY

“Net” Profit 

Saheenaben and Abdul Beejabhai are with all their infectious smiles. They  have all reasons for their smiles. the fishing net they hold did miracle by fetching them ten fold ‘Net’ Profits. Naya Hanjiyasar, This Village of Maliya Block, Shelters many who seeks  some labour in the long spread Salt Pans of Maliya While Salt pans provide them  labour for eight months, the villagers do fishing in the near by river for the rest of the year. the Traditional fishing methods used, could given hem only a very minimum catch. the Villger were satisfied with the meager catch they make, though  they were aware proper equipments could bring home larger quantity of fish. Quantity of prawn they catch, using cloths and small filters, kept their life moving.  They didn’t need to starve during off season,  when they didn’t have labour in the salt pan. However, no one has realized the potential of making fishing as an entrepreneurship. The Capital required for  nets and boat had brought reluctance in them to explore. Madheena Mahila Mandal  formed as part of Livelihood Recover Project Brought the women together. Coming together under one group paved path for discussions and realization. Many Members in the group realized and agreed that they can venture into fishing with some micro  finance assistance. Saheenaben  discussed the idea of getting a loan and entering into  fishing with her husband Abdul  Beeja bhai. “It sounded good to get a net and boat. Thought of giving a try and encouraged  her  to make an application for loan. Akbarbhai (the field staff of the project) motivated us to take up  this business. we got six thousand  rupees as loan to buy this  net.” Abdulbeejabhai show the net. “Six thousand rupees alone is notsufficient to get all the required materials. So we worked out a plan with other members of our group. Other two members got loan of six thousand rupees each. They invested the money  for buying a boat. So we had  both boat and net. With the boat and net we did fishing” Explained saheena Ben, how the group members planned a joint entrepreneurial Venture.  “With a daily Wage of fifty rupees in the salt  pan, we never imagined   that we could earn Rupees  Twenty five thousands share for us within three months. It was ten fold profit  than what we get normally” much excited this couple. The fishing net brought a much higher net profit to them within three months. They invested their profit  in getting a boat for themselves. Now they own a boat and net. “Now we have comparatively better source of income. I will continue work in  salt pan during season, but we have an additional option of fishing also” added Saheenaben. The micro  enterprise options identified by the salt workers, had ensured one more option of livelihood the them. the informed choice of livelihood options enable  the migrants to choose, than being forced in to salt labour alone. Let this smile be contagious and spread everywhere.

 

Women of Chikhali Village Solving the Drinking Water Problem

Under their Own Leadership.

 

The People have bounded the vast sea

Why should not I build a pond in my village?

“Come on, wet the bricks, mix the cement and sand, then only the construction would be good. To raise the wall, increase this side.” These are the words of Saiduben, supervising the work of Roof Rain Water Harvesting tanks in Chikhli village of Maliya Taluka of Rajkot District. Saiduben has played an important role in solving the age old water problem of this village.

When we talk about drinking water problem, it is not limited to Chikhali village only, but it has encircled the whole region of Saurashtra and Kutch. Geographically also the atmosphere of this region is very dry. The effect of irregular rains is also naturally seen on the life style, agriculture and  animal husbandry. Maliya Miyana Taluko, situated on the border of small desert, is also a part of these problems. As the main population is Miyana (Muslim) it is known as Maliya (Miyana). Since the villages of this Taluka are very near to the Gulf of Kutch. There is high level of salinity in the soil and water and hence it is not possible to make a deep well. Under these circumstances, for, the women have no other alternative but to walk five to six kilometers to collect drinking water.

The women the Mahila Mandal of the village Chikhali, 125 KMs from Rajkot, have solved the gigantic problem of water of Miyana Taluka, with their self instinct, enthusiasm, and co-operation of two organisations “Anandi” & Paryavarniya Vikas Kendra. The women who have been going five kms away from the village to the boarder of Sultanpur on the river Ghodadri, have shown their strength by bringing water in their village.

The population of Chikhali village is 720. There live Miyana, Bharvad (shepherd), Koli, Harijan castes in this village. Their main occupation is fishing, farming, labour work in salt works. Here there is medical facility available. ST bus does not arrive in the village as the road is not good. Moreover, this village is isolated during the monsoon. The land is very soft. During monsoon water of the Banas river flows into the sea which comes into the village; as a result of this salinity is increasing. Under this condition of the village, Saiduben had made up her mind to solve this water problem.

The whole process started like this. After the earthquake, Mahila Mandal was formed by the voluntary organization “Anandi”. Today 59 women are members. Paryavarniya Vikas Kendra started its work by people mobilization of the villagers for Natural Resources Management. Tusharbhai Pancholi, discussed the solution of water problem under U.N.D.P. “Drought Proofing Program” and presented the plan before the women of the Mahila Mandal. Three women and three men were taken on an exposure tour for training in this subject at Dwarka and Kutch. On seeing the work done for stopping salinity, Saiduben said, “If the vast sea is bounded by the people, Why cannot we built a pond in our village?” They decided that instead of depending on others, if we have water in our own village, women can bring water without any difficulty.” She said we must become self reliant for drinking water.

The women of the Mandal got good cooperation from the leader of the village Ahmadbhai Jam. When the meeting was called, people said “We are ready to co-operate with Ahmad, but how we can do this work without money.” Hearing this Ahmadbhai said “We have to earn by working.” After the exposure tour a meeting was arranged where they narrated their experiences, village people supported them. A Committee of five women was formed from the Mahila Mandal and then the work on construction of pond started.

First of all, repair work of old pond was taken on hand. Afterwards, with people’s participation and co-operation of ANANDI and Paryavarniya Vikas Kendra, in the year 2001, 145 water tanks of 200 litres capacity tanks of pre fabricated cement tanks were built by the women and distributed to these families, and another pond was constructed in 2002 at the cost of Rs.1.25 lakhs within three weeks. Also two check dams and a CHABUTARO in the village were built. With the cooperation of “Anandi” 59 tanks of 10,000 litres capacity and a primary school and 240 temporary houses were constructed. Whereas, with the cooperation of Paryavarniya Vikas Kendra, in the year 2003, two pond waste weir and 3 farm pond (KHET TALVADI) were made by the village people. Seeing the danger of mal-practices, Ahmadbhai and the women decided to pay wages as per cubic feet of work. Ahmadbhai who believes in self service the best service, says, “in order to create employment, we have decided not to use machines as long as we can do it by labor.”

The women were supervising each and every activity. President of the Mandal, Saiduben says, “When the tanks were built in the village, Rs.201 was collected as token contribution from each user family.. The Sarpanch bought the raw materials after the collection of money. Wherever the foundation was done, I gave five bags of cement, and on receipt of the empty bags, other five bags were given. If money is not given, slab would not be filled.” Here the training which she got from the organization was very useful to her. Saiduben selected the site for the second pond in the village, and also saw the level of the land with the DURBIN. The decision to have two separate ponds – one for drinking water and the other for domestic purpose – was taken by the women. Today, both the ponds are kept clean. In order to give experience to each women of the Mandal, Saiduben who is keeping the accounts, sends different women for the training imparted by the organization. Now, after taking unanimous decision, the Mahila Mandal gives loan to the needy women at a nominal rate of 2%.

Tusharbhai Pancholi of Paryavarniya Vikas Kendra, while narrating his memorable experience says that in the year 2002, the work was to be done under watershed. Men and women gathered and passed the resolution and the officer mentioned the condition under which it was decided that there would be a committee consisting of nine women and three men. Labour work will be done by the villagers and it would be their responsibility and if the work is not approved of, it would be stopped at that time only.”

In the same way, as there was no good road, the bus service is not available. Saiduben, along with the women of the Mandal, went to the officer of the Bus depo at Morvi and registered their protest. Rameshbhai Kateshiya of Paryavarniya Vikas Kendra, who is coordinating all these activities with the women says that “when we talked about the Farm bunds in the village, the women said that first of all drinking water problem should be solved. So, we decided to kept aside the farm bund activity. Thus, activities were selected as per the need of the village not as per the planning of the organisation.

Citing the speciality of the village, village Sarpanch Mahmadbhai says, “there is no election in the village after the independence. The village has got an awward in the BETHI election. The village women have awaken and if needed, they visit the Taluka Office and put up their cases.”

Water problem has become minor in this village where unity is examplenary. Today, there is 50% benefits in the agriculture production in the village. Migration from the village has also decreased a lot. Ahmadbhai says, “Women have started to speak. Till today if any minister comes, villagers were not going. Now they go of their own and put forward their case. Now in every  village meeting Saiduben and other mahila mandal women remains present and put forward their issues.”

While Kasturiben of  one of the village Committee says, “We have learnt a lot when we came out. The organization has taught us a lot.” Whereas Saiduben says with a smile, “Now we alone can go to Delhi.”

“Pravah” – Voluntary organizations working on the water front has launched and awareness program on drinking water  in 1,000 villages of Gujarat. This has also been started in Chikhali village. During the programme, a drama was stage and the character of Tarasbai  and its posters have been liked by all in the village.

Now, for the planning of the village, the women of the village and Panchayat Member, Ahmadbhai says, “For the employment, we will ask Panchayat to get start development work for the village and give employment to the villagers. If the work is not given, we will go the Taluka office and complain. Situation will change once we fight against the difficulties ourselves.”

Thus, with the symbol of unity of Chikhali village and cooperation of the organization, it is proved that there is great strength in the awareness of the women and unity of the village.

 

CASE STUDY

” I was not born lame. Ignorance and illiteracy of  my parents  had made me like this to crawl through she say with smile, it would bring tears in anyone who listens to her. “I have been a burden to everyone.  During my thirty year of life, the burden and hardship have given to everyone around couldn’t be compensate by  anything. when I cannot walk or more or move from place to place. How can this lame could earn a single rupee ? Here people go to salt  pan  to work. During season people go for fishing to catch prawn.  I cannot go for anything. My life shrunk to my house alone.  But I got a new life after this financial assistance to establish this shop” Share Jethunben  Rahimbhai. This thirty year Jethunben of Naya Hanjiyasar Village is Still a spinster. The mischievous  girl’s dance and play  all become dreams alone, when due to some mal treatment, her both legs  became lame before some twenty five years. She became immovable initially and began to crawl. The illness could make her only physically lame. mentally she is much active. “Through there was initial resistance, I got long from our self help group and started this shop. Now I get nearly hundred rupees from this shop daily. you may not believe, I asked my father, not to go to salt pan anymore. I can manage our household expenditure through my  income.” Confidence echoes in words.

Though she couldn’t stand on her own leg physically  economically Jethun has started standing on her own legs and feed her family.

Physical Handicap couldn’t  handicap her will. Nothing could stop her from standing on her own legs. “No doctors could make  me to stand on my own legs. but  with the loan assistance I stand on my own legs. Only my legs are handicapped not my will” laughs this micro entrepreneur who is a model for every one. She injects inspiration in our nervous.